The Type of The File System Is RAW. CHKDSK Is Not Available for RAW Drives

Position: How Tos - Disk Utilities - Solved: The Type of The File System Is RAW. CHKDSK Is Not Available for RAW Drives

You might receive error "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" when running CHKDSK to repair RAW partition on hard disk, external hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, etc. Do you know how to fix the issue without data loss? This article will provide an effective way to recover data from RAW drive as well as multiple solutions to convert RAW file system to NTFS/FAT/exFAT/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 in Windows 10/8/7.

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"Dear all, my 500GB Toshiba external hard drive cannot be opened and gives error message saying it is not formatted and asks if I want to format it now. After that, I find a guide that suggests running chkdsk. I tried that twice but in vain for the disk checking ends up with 'the type of the file system is RAW and chkdsk is not available!' What does that mean? Do I have to format the drive? Is it possible to recover lost data after formatting? What's your comment?"

The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

Chkdsk is one of the useful tools provided by Windows, and it is able to check and repair logical errors in file system. When a partition cannot be accessed by system, you can use chkdsk /f to check and repair errors. However, this command may not be able to complete the task on some RAW drives and prompts error message shown in the screenshot above. RAW file system cannot be recognized by Windows system and thus the drive won't be mounted by system. To make the drive accessible again, we need to convert RAW to NTFS, FAT or exFAT file system.

Since chkdsk command fails to complete due to RAW drive, you are likely to receive other error messages when trying to openit in Windows File Explorer. Here are some error messages you may encounter:

  • Drive is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
  • You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it. Do you want to format it?
  • The disk in drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?
  • How to fix "Drive is not accessible. The parameter is incorrect"?
  • Drive is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all the required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.
  • Drive is not accessible. Access is denied.

How to recover data when the type of the file system is RAW CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives?


  • It is important to keep the RAW drive away from formatting and other repairing actions. Although Windows always throws the prompt of formatting the drive before you can access it, you should just close the message box. There is possibility that vital information recording file directories will be wiped after formatting, making it difficult to recover lost data from RAW drive with original paths and names.
  • The RAW drive data recovery process can retrieve lost files for you, and yet it is read-only and does not make the drive accessible. Thus, we need to try some additional actions to convert RAW drive to other file system types.

RAW partition recovery software free download

When it comes to recovering data from partition whose file system type is RAW, a partition recovery program such as DiskGenius is needed. DiskGenius can help you recover files, photos, documents, videos, music, email, archives from RAW partitions on hard disk, external HDD, memory cards, USB flash drive, virtual disk, RAID, etc. Besides, it also supports various other data recovery tasks like deleted file recovery, formatted recovery, lost partition recovery, crashed drive recovery and so on. When chkdsk is not available for RAW drives, you can free download DiskGenius partition recovery software to rescue files.

If this is the first time you use this tool, you can try the free trial edition to verify whether it is able to retrieve lost data for you. The DiskGenius trial edition can scan the drive and preview recoverable files, by which you can estimate final recovery result easily. If you are satisfied with the scanning result, you can register it and copy needed files to a secure location.

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Preparations for RAW drive data recovery:

  • A computer running Windows system. If your computer won't boot, you can remove the drive to another PC.
  • RAW drive partition recovery software – DiskGenius.
  • The device where you are going to recover data.
  • A destination drive which is large enough to store recovered data.

Connect your RAW drive to a computer which is running Windows 10/8/7 and make sure it can be detected by computer, i.e. you can see the drive in Disk Management. Download the free trial edition of DiskGenius on the computer and launch it.

Below is the step-by-step guide to recover data from RAW drive:

Step 1. Launch DiskGenius and view the RAW drive.

Select the RAW drive where chkdsk is not available and click Files tab to check if files of the drive can be displayed. In some instances, files and folders will be displayed once the software is launched if the RAW drive is just slightly damaged.

The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

This is one of the excellent features of DiskGenius, it is able to analyze damaged file system and recognize files without any scanning. If your files do not show up here, you can also try loading the partition intelligently. Load Current Partition Intelligently is the function specially designed to retrieve files from RAW drive which was NTFS file system. It analyzes information in MFT and then quickly loads files and folders of the drive when it was accessible.

In many cases, files can be found by this function quickly and completely, and you can preview files to check recovery result. If all needed files have been correctly loaded, you can register the software and save them to a safe location to complete RAW data recovery.

If the RAW drive was damaged way too severely or it was not NTFS drive, you need to proceed with next step to scan the drive and recover files.

The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

Step 2. Scan the RAW drive with File Recovery function.

Select the RAW drive from which you want to retrieve files and click File Recovery button as below:

The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

Click Start button and DiskGenius will starts to search for lost files from the selected drive.

The scanning process continues to display found files and keeps updating scanning result. Users are allowed to preview files listed by scanning process so that they can make sure if desired files have been found. Besides, users can pause, continue or stop scanning process according to their own needs.

The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

Step 3. Preview files and locate files you want to recover.

The scan result of lost data can be previewed on a pop-up window by double-clicking a file, as follows; By way of previewing data, you can easily find what you need and check if files are damaged due to partition corruption.

The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

Step 4. Copy and save recovered files to a safe location.

Choose files and folders you want to rescue from scan result and right-click mouse to select "Copy To", after which you can specify a location to save recovered data.

Note: you should save recovered data to a location which does not need data recovery.

The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

How to fix "The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives" issue?

Note: Before starting with following solutions, you need to be aware of the risks involves. Converting RAW drive to correct file system types such as FAT32, NTFS will remove all data on the drive, you should make sure important files have been recovered or backed up. If not, move to previous part to recover lost data from RAW drive.

Solution #1: Check the connection issue

Since a loose or improper connection may lead to read or write issues, the verify first step you should try is checking the connection between the RAW drive and computer. If the RAW drive is on an external storage device such as external hard drive or USB flash drive, you can change a USB port, USB cable or a PC running a different version of Windows. If your external hard drive starts to get RAW error after changing a disk enclosure, there might be compatibility problems, and you can try connecting external drive directly to the motherboard.

Solution #2:Convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32 file system in Disk Management

Step 1   Right-click on Start menu and choose Disk Management. Then locate the RAW drive in Disk Management.

Step 2   Right-click on the RAW drive and choose Format option, as follows:

The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives

Step 3   Choose files system type and set other information such as volume label, allocation unit size. The click Start button to format the drive to selected file system type.

Note: if Windows cannot complete the formatting, the drive may contain physical damages. In that case, you may need to check bad sectors with DiskGenius.

Solution #3: Convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32 file system with cmd

In this solution, we are going to use Diskpart to convert RAW drive to NTFS or FAT32 file system. Diskpart is a Windows built-in utility and it is able to create, delete and format partitions.

Step 1. Type cmd in searching box, right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. In the Command Prompt, type diskpart and press Enter key.

Step 3. Type follow commands and press Enter key after each command.

List volume
Select volume #
Format fs=FAT32 quick

The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives

You might also be interested in:

What causes the Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives error?

As the error "The type of the file system is RAW" states, the main reason why you receive the error is RAW drive. When the partition you want to run CHKDSK turn to RAW, you are likely to get the error, for the command is not available for RAW drives. Here, you must be wondering what turns a drive to RAW? There are many reasons that cause a partition to show up as RAW:

File system structure gets corrupted. File system records vital information for partition, such as type, location, size, file location, etc. A partition won't be read properly by OS once file system gets damaged and it will become inaccessible. Corrupted file system can be the consequence of improperly removable of disk, bad sectors, sudden power failure, and so on.

Bad sectors on the drive. Bad sectors are not available for read or write actions, and they can prevent disk from working properly, for example, disk becomes RAW, responses slowly, freezes PC, does not show up, etc.

The file system is not supported by Windows. As we all know, a device can be recognized by Windows after formatting to supported file system types such as NTFS, FAT32, exFAT. If you insert a drive using a file system not supported by Windows like ext4, it will be reported as RAW and you need to format it before using it.


"The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" will occur when the RAW you want to repair via chkdsk is badly damaged, and yet there are solutions to get the error fixed. It is recommended to perform RAW drive data recovery prior to trying any other solutions if the drive contains important data. You can follow tutorial above to fix the issue without data loss. If you feel these guides helpful, please do not hesitate to share on social media.


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